Former Blues forwards Doug Weight and Bill Guerin were inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night. Weight played in two stints with the Blues, recording 75 goals and 220 assists (295 points) in 364 regular season games. Guerin wore the Blue Note from 2006-07, scoring 28 goals and 19 assists (47 points).
DETROIT -- Through all the teams, through all the years, Bill Guerin encapsulated his friendship with Doug Weight at the beginning of his speech Monday during the induction ceremony for the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.
"Dougie told me he has an A speech and a B speech," Guerin said, laughing. "So I better tread lightly."
A friendship that began in the early 1990s at an Olympic festival when the two were amateurs came full circle Monday, when they were inducted together into the U.S. Hockey Hall.
Joining them in this year's group was former Michigan State University coach Ron Mason, women's hockey pioneer Cindy Curley, and Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos.
In addition, USA Today national hockey writer Kevin Allen was honored with the Lester Patrick Award for contributions to hockey in the United States.
The stars of the show here at the Sound Board Theater at the Motor City Casino, however, were Guerin and Weight. The two were teammates on three NHL teams (Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, New York Islanders), the 1996 United States World Cup team, and the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Olympics.
"It couldn't have worked out any better," Guerin said. "Dougie is not only the ultimate teammate, but the ultimate friend. He's always got your back, he's always got your best interests. He's got a great heart. He's got a great family. He's just a great guy. I love the guy."
Their friendship dates to an Olympic festival in St. Cloud, Minn., in 1990.
"We were doing one of those camps in the summer," Weight said. "He was with his Boston boys, beaking all us Michigan guys. It tended to be you knew the four or five guys from your area and four or five days into it you'd meet the other guys. We'd have a good time."
They were reunited on the memorable 1996 U.S. World Cup team that saw the Americans win the best-of-3 final against Canada by winning the final two games in Montreal. Weight had three goals and four assists in seven games; Guerin had two assists and 17 penalty minutes.
In January 1998, they were reunited again. The New Jersey Devils traded Guerin to the Edmonton Oilers, and the two formed a productive partnership.
"I had a chance to play with him in Edmonton when we got him in a trade," Weight said. "I was ecstatic. We had a great time out there. He loved it. Every time I played with Billy, it was great. I enjoyed it."
Partnerships with the Blues and Islanders cemented the friendship.
"The relationship just took off then between myself and Doug and [wives] Kara and Allison and now our kids," Guerin said. "Our kids match up. It's fantastic. It's been a lot of holidays spent together, lot of vacations spent together. They're a special family."
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said what stood out to him about all the honorees Monday was the class and dignity with which they carried themselves.
"This is a group that not only contributed to the growth of the game in the United States, not only had careers of excellence, they're all really nice people," Bettman told NHL.com. "It's always great to get the hockey family together and celebrate excellence and accomplishments, particularly when it's really good people."